Laws cited for Internet Censorship in Malaysia

Laws Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) cites for blocking different categories of websites in addition to Communications Multimedia Act 233 and Copyright Act, also include State Shariah Acts

MCMC Block Noticiation

Thousands of websites are ordered blocked by ISPs by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Almost all of these are related to porn, gambling or websites providing download of unauthorized copies of content such as movies. Improvements in the official block page notice which Malaysians are subject to, now include specific details of the offense, but also the government agency and contact that oversees the specific regulations or laws that are supposedly being violated. We do a quick review of known blocked sites, to check what specific laws are being applied.

Copyright Violations

Websites that provide links to downloads of illegal content such as the Pirate Bay are reported and blocked under Section 41 Copyright Act 1987, which is under the purview of the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs.


Websites for online gambling are blocked under Section 4(1) Common Gaming Houses Act 1953 and is under the purview of The Royal Malaysian Police. Only one known tested site, is blocked under this law.

Offensive and Indecent Content

Websites that have content that some might find offensive or indecent are blocked due to violation of Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 211 or 233. Due to the overly broad wording of CMA 233, "obscene, indecent, false, menacing or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person", this has been the regulation cited and broadly used to block broad categories of websites including porn, political blogs and also news media in the past.

Political blogs, blogging platforms and news media domains such as Sarawak Report, were examples of sites blocked under CMA233 under Najib Administration. These blocks have now been removed after last general elections and change in government.

Other categories of websites that fall under broad definition of CMA233, however are still blocked. These include:

The broad wording of CMA211 and CMA233 will continue to be problematic, as hundreds of thousands of websites legally would be in violation of this Act as long as a Malaysian makes an official complaint or report, making Internet censorship arbitrary, as the sites above indicate. This section of CMA needs to be amended or removed, because it can be open to abuse to restrict freedom of expression of minorities, political criticisms or even fictional content some Malaysians might find offensive.

Reported violations of this act and it's enforcement are under the purview of MCMC.

Shariah Offenses

Breached provision of Section 16 Enactment of Syariah Offences Selangor 1995

A few websites however are blocked under state Shariah laws.

Known sites officially blocked are related to the Hizb ut-Tahrir a far-right Islamic political organization whose aim is the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah such as and The former under Section 16 Enactment of Syariah Offences Selangor 1995 and the latter under Section 62 Enactment of Syariah Offences in Malacca State 1991.

Internet censorship or blocking citing State Syariah laws is problematic, because the block practically applies to all Malaysians in any state, including non-Muslims. Section 16 1(a) of Syariah Offenses Selangor, is publication or dissemination of any book, document or recording which is contrary to Islamic Law. One problematic section that could lead to restrictions on freedom of expression online and possible future blocks is Section 13(1) which is dissemination of any opinion concerning any issue, Islamic teachings or Islamic Law contrary to any fatwa.

Helping Test and Monitor Malaysian Website Censorship

We are helping maintain test list of over 1710 URLs for Malaysia, including political, religious, sex education and LGBT categories. You can help us collect test data by downloading and running the OONI Probe app on your mobile phone.


Technical Notes and Resources

  • Internet blocking in Malaysia is done via simple DNS hijacking or redirection by the DNS servers maintained and provided by local ISPs
  • Users are redirected to MCMC notice server at provides specific general block notice and a specific link to details of the laws that are being violated. The notice is served via virtualhost rules for http connections and for urls with top level domain only eg. and not https connections will simply timeout or fail to connect, and any url with info other than the domain will result in a 404 page not found error.
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